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Environmental Health and Safety Office 
What Causes Accidents
How to prevent accidents
Laboratory Safety Plan
Employee Right to know
Respiratory Protection

Causes of Accidents
What should you watch for?

Work related accidents
are sudden, unfortunate mishaps/events; especially those situations where equipment damage, employee injury or death occurs. 

Hazards are at the origin of most accidents.  Conditions such as
unsafe equipment, stressful work, fast-paced work coupled with lack of training and supervision, lack of standard operating procedures or lack of proper engineering controls are some of the causes of accidents and ill health in the workplace.  Be aware of the following hazards :

Chemicals Common cleaning compounds, paints, solvents, many types of dust, corrosive materials, and a number of substances found at work are classified as chemicals and may cause burns, allergic skin rashes, permanent asthma, cancers or birth defects. Chemicals can affect numerous organs such as the liver, kidneys, the nervous system and the blood and will cause ill health.
Slips and trips Slips, trips, and fall are the most common causes of accidents at the university.  They happen because of wet and slippery floors, spills, trailing cables or damaged floors.overcrowding, untidy workplaces,
Machines,  equipment and Housekeeping
Machine-related accidents are caused by poor maintenance, lack of safety guards, lack of equipment -specific training, electrical faults that can cause burns, fires or kill, trying to fix a machine without stopping and disconnecting it from the power supply. Dangerous machinery may be found in labs, kitchens as well as plumbing, electrical, carpentry and metalworking shops
Lifting and
Loads Size
One of the leading causes of back injuries in the workplace. Lifting heavy or unstable Loads in  awkward ways can cause injuries to the lower back, shoulders, or muscle strain and pulls.
Repetitive and Awkward Work Dish washing, kitchen work, cashier work, office a lab computer work, pipetting, microtomy, microscopy etc are some  examples of tasks that consist of repetitive, fast work, and work requiring awkward postures. When coupled with insufficient rest periods they cause aches, pains and damage to muscles and joints (musculoskeletal disorders).
Noise and physical other hazards
High noise levels cause hearing loss.  Employees may probably not be aware of the loss as it happens slowly. Hearing damage can never be repaired.  Other physical hazards include vibration and radiation.
Work Environmental condition
Includes: poor lighting, lack of proper ventilation, or required air exchanges, high or low humidity, uncontrolled carbon dioxide levels, heat or cold temperatures. All can cause discomfort problems, loss of concentration, and may make workers accident prone
Stress Work-related stress is a job hazard and is a result of bullying by supervisors or co-workers, it may also  result from how work is organized, impossible workloads, unclear responsibilities, and too much pressure. Stress causes employees to become inattentive, preoccupied which in turn causes accidents.
Violence Every day contacts with members of the public may include verbal abuse, or physical assaults can result in accidents, and should not be viewed as "just part of the job" but should be abated.

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